Saturday, June 7, 2014

Diospyros kaki as bonsai.

Diospyros kaki, better known as the Japanese Persimmon, Kaki Persimmon or Asian Persimmon in North America, is the most widely cultivated species of the Diospyros genus.

Although its first published botanical description was not until 1780, the kaki is also among the oldest plants in cultivation, known for its use in China for more than 2000 years.

In some rural Chinese communities, the kaki fruit is seen as having a great mystical power that can be harnessed to solve headaches, back pains and foot ache.

The kaki tree reaches a size of up to ten meters. It is similar in shape to an apple tree. Its deciduous leaves are medium to dark green, broadly lanceolate, stiff and equally wide as long. It blooms from May to June. Trees are typically either male or female, but some produce both types of flowers.

Furthermore, the sexual expression of a tree may vary from year to year. Unusually, the kaki fruits are ripe when the leaves have already fallen off the tree are for the most part (October–November).

Diospyros kaki as bonsai

The Japanese Persimmon is another great Mame bonsai as it packs a punch in a small form with bright orange fruits. It originates from China and is also called the Kaki Persimmon and Asian Persimmon.

The fruits are edible and they are generally grown in China and Asia for fruit production. As bonsai they should be re-potted around every 2 to 3 years in a free draining soil made up of soil and coarse sand or equivalent material.

Diospyros kaki

Subject to the stage of development of your Persimmon when re-potting ensure that root pruning is carried out to ensure a good structure is then developed and at the same time reduce the foliage area to suit.

Shape the crown in the growing season reducing the new and still tender shoots to two leaves. This species wire well and branches can be positioned by wire in spring to summer but protect the bark to avoid damage as it is fragile.

Diospyros kaki

Feed Persimmons in early spring through to autumn as this aids fruit production but avoid creating large wounds as they do not tend to callous over wounds well or quickly and ensure cut paste is used on freshly cut branch ends.

Protect trees in winter from frosts and do not allow them to ever dry out completely and keep them in a sunny position. Younger material is good to start with as branches are very flexible and can be shaped easily but become a bit brittle with age.

It is from the Ebenaceae family which is a large genus os nearly 500 species of mainly tropical, evergreen and deciduous , dioecious trees and shrubs. Few species are hardy though and the Chinese Persimmon (Diospyros kaki) is the most commonly used in bonsai.

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